With millions of things to juggle when starting a new business you may wonder is it really necessary to add more fuel to the fire? When it comes to starting a company improv team, no. When it comes to starting a company blog, one hundred percent, absolutely, YES. A company blog, not only is a great way to generate sales leads and increase SEO, but it also allows you to be able to engage with potential and current customers in an informal way which boosts customer loyalty. Not only that, a blog is relatively easy to set up, there is no training required, and it costs very little, if anything, to make. Talk about an effective, low cost marketing tool! In this post we are going to help you get this party (and blog) started!
STEP 1: Goal
First things first, decide what you want to accomplish with your blog. Are you attempting to squash competitors, be established as an industry leader, boost your site’s status in search engine results? Whatever the case may be, your content should be directly influenced by your goals. Define what effects you crave first, in order to have a clear message on your blog.
STEP 2: Voice
When establishing the voice of your company it is important to understand your demographic. What type of personality would your customers be drawn to? Secondly, think about your company culture. One of the easiest ways to create a voice is to picture your brand as a character. Are you the sassy, snapping, beauty bombshell type? Or are you the nerdy, demure, rambling, nerdy type? Whoever you decide to be, make sure EVERYTHING is written consistently. Chances are you will have multiple employees contributing to your blog which can lead to a non-uniform script. To avoid this, have one person act as a moderator to ensure a constant.
STEP 3: Application
There are many blogging applications out there, Wordpress and Blogger being the most common, and the easiest to setup. If you possess some technological know-how, then you might want to choose a blog that you can host yourself, like a Wordpress.org blog (instead of a Wordpress.com blog... a little confusing, we know). If you are no Mark Zuckerberg and are not concerned with hosting, then Blogger and Wordpress.COM would probably be your flavor of choice. Both of those will be a bit limited in terms of features and functionality, but you'll have an easy time getting up and running. On a side note, we have tried out all of the options above (which turned out to be a painfully long experiment), and in the end, we decided to go with a Squarespace blog. A decision that took a little bit of time getting used to, but ultimately has worked out very well for us. Their interface is very different than that of other blogging platforms, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never want to go back. (We'll write a more in-depth post comparing blogging platforms at a later date, so stay tuned.)
STEP 4: Content
Your content should be personal and industry specific, after all you are the experts...aren’t you?! Act like it! Visitors are reading because they are interested in what YOU have to say about your specific industry niche. Share your opinions honestly and openly. Act as a resource by offering links and helpful tips of the trade. This way people will not only be more ready to spread the word about your awesome blog, but websites will be more inclined to link to your articles upping your rank in search engine results. Remember, use relevant keywords to create another SEO boost.
STEP 5: No Sales
Do NOT use your blog as a place for any type of materials you would use in marketing i.e. press releases! No reader wants to hear an obvious sales pitch when reading your blog. It is lame and in poor taste. Instead, practice a soft sell. If something is relevant to your company, by all means mention your brand as a resource. But again, ONLY if relevant.
STEP 6: Commitment
COMMITMENT. COMMITMENT. COMMITMENT. Why must this be repeated three times? Because it is tres importante. If you start a blog, treat it as as if you are getting married to the love of your life and you can not envision a future without it. An abandoned blog on your company website does not give off a good impression and makes you appear lazy.
STEP 7: Check in with Advisors
Make sure you check in with all of your trusty advisers about their past experiences with company blogs. How did their blog help them? Make sure to cover all of the nitty gritty so you are completely prepared for your blogging adventure.
There you go, the lucky seven. Ultimately, a company blog is in no way going to hurt you. It’s cheap and at some times can even be fun! Put some ink on paper to see your goals achieve themselves!